FTC commissioner wants more aggressive review of hospital mergers

Antitrust enforcers should be "as aggressive as possible" in policing hospital mergers, said Federal Trade Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter in a speech at the Center for American Progress, according to Law360.

During her speech on May 14, Ms. Slaughter called on antitrust officials at the FTC and the Department of Justice to get tougher on mergers in the healthcare industry, even if it means losing cases.

"We should push the envelope and not be afraid to bring cases," she said, according to Bloomberg. "If we never bring a case unless it's a sure thing, we're almost certainly under-enforcing."

Ms. Slaughter also shared her thoughts on private equity acquisitions in healthcare. In response to a question about leveraged buyouts, she said private equity's push into healthcare is a "really disturbing trend" and needs to be examined carefully, according to Bloomberg.

There were more than 700 private equity deals in the healthcare industry in 2018 with a combined value of more than $100 billion, according to Forbes, which cited data from PitchBook. In 2017, there were 709 deals worth $89 billion.

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